The great cardio debate; low intensity steady state versus high intensity steady state.


As apparent as it has become, cardiovascular activity has many benefits on the body. From enhancing and improving physical changes, to internally improving, strengthening and increasing bone density, lung and heart and reducing the risk of diseases and cancer, as well as reducing stress and anxiety! Loads of benefits!


The types of cardio training:

-       Circuit training

-       Aerobic interval training

-       Anaerobic interval training

-       Low intensity -> long duration

-       Medium intensity -> medium duration

-       High intensity -> short duration


Cardio exercise increases heart rate, stamina, endurance and blood circulation in the body. In addition to weight training and proper nutrition, cardio training allows burning fat at a faster pace. Outside of nutrition and balanced hormone function, an important factor of weight loss depends on the type of training and the energy and effort put into the training.


The two types of training that are most commonly know are, HIIT and LIIS: high intensity interval training and low intensity interval training. Incorporating both forms allows for a sustainable weight loss journey, allowing maximizing fat loss and increasing health benefits!


The difference between the two:


HIIT stands for high intensity interval training and is when you alternate between high and low intensity exercises between a shorter period of time.

High intensity cardio requires 80-90% of your maximum heart rate and because it is more intense and uses the anaerobic energy system it allows for burning more calories during and after the session is complete. HIIT workouts tend to burn more calories than a traditional workout, especially after your workout, because this training stimulated the effect of (EPOC) excess post exercise oxygen consumption (2 hours post workout) where the body is restoring itself back to normal levels (homeostasis), using more energy to do so!


How does HIIT work to burn energy?

HIIT uses the anaerobic energy system – The anaerobic system is utilized for energy during short intense exercises that last from 10 seconds to 2 minutes of movement. During these short phases of high intensity the body mainly uses stored glycogen in the muscles and not oxygen for the energy transfer process.


HIIT can be done within a shorter time frame of 20 minutes and can be incorporated 1-2x weekly on NON-lifting days, to allow the body for recovery time from workouts. High intensity training can be done through intervals of running, biking, climbing stairs and plyometric exercises of 1-minute full speed to 2 minutes at a slower pace, on repeat up to desired minutes.



On the other end of the training intensity spectrum there is low intensity interval training. LISS involves 40-60% maximum heart rate and is typically done in the span of 35-40 minutes at a constant low pace. Low intensity exercise elevates heart rate but unlike HIIT, LISS does not use your maximum heart rate effort, which allows for a longer duration of activity. Examples include, a casual walk or jog, biking, swimming, cardio machines and gentle yoga.


How does LISS work to burn energy?

LISS uses the aerobic energy system - The aerobic system is initiated after 2 minutes of a workout and can last up from 10 minutes to 2 hours by using oxygenated blood to transfer energy to the working and moving muscles (rather than glycogen). Aerobic system uses oxygen and can be maintained throughout a longer duration, such as long distance running/ activity and marathon training.


However, the body does adapt to LISS quicker and can therefore make burning fat a longer process. By incorporating a balance of both HIIT and LISS you can avoid cardio plateaus and keep your body guessing!


These training types can be done indoor or outdoors…Switch up your cardio and incorporate both HIIT and LISS into your weekly goals! Because #YouCan